Tuesday 25 February 1661/62

All the morning at the office. At noon with Mr. Moore to the Coffee-house, where among other things the great talk was of the effects of this late great wind; and I heard one say that he had five great trees standing together blown down; and, beginning to lop them, one of them, as soon as the lops were cut off, did, by the weight of the root, rise again and fasten. We have letters from the forest of Deane, that above 1000 Oakes and as many beeches are blown down in one walk there. And letters from my father tell me of 20l. hurt done to us at Brampton. This day in the news-book I find that my Lord Buckhurst and his fellows have printed their case as they did give it in upon examination to a justice of Peace, wherein they make themselves a very good tale that they were in pursuit of thieves, and that they took this man for one of them, and so killed him; and that he himself confessed it was the first time of his robbing; and that he did pay dearly for it, for he was a dead man. But I doubt things will be proved otherwise, as they say. Home to dinner, and by and by comes Mr. Hunt and his wife to see us and staid a good, while with us. Then parted, and I to my study in the office. The first time since the alteracon that I have begun to do business myself there, and I think I shall be well pleased with it. At night home to supper and to bed.

25 Annotations

Doug   Link to this

"...he himself confessed it was the first time of his robbing..."
Do I read this right? Lord Buckhurst and friends are claiming that when they caught Hoppy, he admitted he was the thief?
"That's my story and I'm sticking to it!" Sam suspects they'll get away with it, even if he doesn't believe the story.

Australian Susan   Link to this

News Book
Would this be a newspaper that the office had delivered? Or would Sam have gone to a coffee house to read this. He seems very interested in this particular case, doesn't he? Sam seems to have now got a room to himself in the office - the equivalent of the corner office in the skyscraper with the view today(!) and is pleased. Not only, I think, with the evidence of status this gives him, but that he seems naturally to be a person who wants neatness and order in his office and having a room to yourself makes this easier to achieve.

Pauline   Link to this

"...as soon as the lops were cut off, did, by the weight of the root, rise again and fasten..."
Meaning that one tree was brought down by others and when the limbs and trunks holding it down were lopped and pulled aside, this one tree sprang back up? Perhaps with a little help.

Pauline   Link to this

"But I doubt things will be proved otherwise, as they say."
Sam seems to disbelieve their story and to think they will get away with it.

"as they say" meaning that "proved otherwise" is a phrase commonly used when evidence is brought and justice sought?

vicenzo   Link to this

Remember the Lauds have privileges [private + law] and /or be law unto themselves, aristoes's versus a hoi polloi ? does not stand a chance like a snow flake in hell, that Tanner could have been found not guilty. Who was the recorder of this sad state of affairs. Likely to be in a spot of trouble for even challenging the case.
There be no eye in the sky or a handy dandy cam- corder to say otherwise.

At least the poor bloke, did not have to suffer in the 'nick' till the next Assizes and then be dragged off to the nearest Elm tree to degutted for sassing 5 nice young gents, if Elm be still standing and not being chopped up for a nice sideboard or hat stand.

Pauline   Link to this

"At least the poor bloke..."
But I wonder if Tanner might not have had more standing if he had lived. Maybe killing him made it all simpler. (I shudder.)

Bergie   Link to this

To lop a tree is to prune it; the lops are the parts trimmed off. "Beginning to lop them, one of them, as soon as the lops were cut off, did, by the weight of the root, rise again and fasten." With branches removed, the tree was no longer top-heavy, and it straightened up.

Mary   Link to this

"did... rise again and straighten"

Similar effects were seen after the 1987 storm in the south of England.

Mary   Link to this

"my study in the office".

(per L&M) There was now a separate office for Penn and Batten. The carpenter's bills for the work amounted to more than £50.

Mary   Link to this


These forerunners of the newspaper first appeared during the period of the Civil Wars. To begin with they (pamphlets of from eight to sixteen pages printed on one sheet of paper) appeared irregularly, giving news of proceedings in parliament, military campaigns etc. In time they came to be published more frequently, weekly or even several times a week. Copies would very often be read at a coffee house.

Carey   Link to this

as soon as the lops were cut off...

This was also mentioned by Daniel Defoe in his book "the Storm", an account of the great storm of 1704

tld   Link to this

Hoppy the tanner...

This is quite an argument. Not only are they claiming Hoppy was the thief and confessed, but that he also confessed that this robbery was the first one he ever did!

This is so tidy an argument that it would be false.

And how handy that the Lords caught Hoppy after just his first theft. Have they actually done a public service?

As much as things change, how little things change. Celebrity, status, connections all meant plenty in the 1600s also. Lord Buckhurst turns on the media machine and defends himself in the press...

Pedro   Link to this

"that above 1000 Oakes and as many beeches are blown down in one walk there."

And in the Great Storm of 1987...
"1987,some 15 million trees were felled and whole forests decimated."


JWB   Link to this

Australian Susan: "He seems very interested in this particular case, doesn't he?”
Sam’s a JP too. Think he would be studying this case for his own benefit as well inherent interest.

David A. Smith   Link to this

"they make themselves a very good tale"
Following up on Doug, tld, Pauline, and Australian Susan, you're all correct!
The above is the smoking-gun phrase: "They make themselves a very good tale."
In other words, they've spun a good yarn.
One can hear Sam snorting in the coffeehouse as he reads this little epic.

vicenzo   Link to this

This be what would have happened if the Tanner be alive. He would have suffered this fate [no publick defender], not these young noble and members in good standing with Charles, lads would be a doing a publick service:
or one Whitehead did steal 4 pounds [repeat offender as his occupation be stealing was sentanced to hang.


Pauline   Link to this

"what would have happened if the Tanner be alive"
But this assumes that he was a thief or a rogue. If totally innocent and surviving, and able to show that; what would have happened?

Xjy   Link to this

"But I doubt things will be proved otherwise, as they say."
‘Sam seems to disbelieve their story and to think they will get away with it.’
No, I think he’s using “doubt” to mean “suspect” here… He *doesn’t* think they’ll get away with it.

JWB   Link to this

Bills of Right
Buckhurst has right to bear arms, Hoppy, I asssume did not. Interesting name Hoppy. Hoppe in US known by upholders 2nd Amend. as maker of gun oil & various gun care products.

Jenny Doughty   Link to this

"But I doubt things will be proved otherwise, as they say."

I took the same meaning as Pauline from this. It reads to me as if there is a missing ‘that’ from this sentence - ‘…I doubt (that) things will be proved otherwise…’

vicenzo   Link to this

There was not a Judge at that time [read some of the minutes of the house of Lairds] [and if were before Judge Jeffery Wow!] that would go against The House and its offspring and there was not a jury that went against a judge and he had to of the lordly class it be one of the rights of the landed to go before ones PEERS, the first known jury to do so was with Wm. Pen jr. Justice was not for the People, [very hard to understand that there was such a time in to-day's thinking, then one had about 3 minutes to prove yourself innocent, no advocate for thee, to plead] but it took many Revolutions to get Justice for the Innocent [you were rarely innocent if you never had universitie education, 'tis why America in 17th C, be so popular].
Even in my youth, those that were not landed, had to have overwelming proof and good verbal skills, because it was and is a natural tendency to think that if a Master says so, you must be guilty.
Even these times, those that fail to pass matriculation tend to go with the opinion of the matriculated.
The house of Lords is at this date feb '61 discussing a bill to control the press of the times, to prevent libellous and seditious writings against the righteousness of the King's allies.
Sam may have had a gut feel for the truth, but having seen the behaviour of his betters, would note it in his scribblings, but I doubt that he would risk his position and neck to buck the Lord Buck and his fellow young stallions, as they were rather popular with the king.

language hat   Link to this

I don't think we can tell which meaning he intends here; the (now archaic) sense 'suspect, apprehend' was still in common use. For a later example, see Trollope: "I doubt [= suspect] that Thackeray did not write the Latin epitaph."

Mark Pearson   Link to this

..."rise again and fasten"... I work as a Park Ranger out here in California. I have seen that happen a few times. The angle of repose is an important aspect to the whole thing. Prunning a few branches wont do it. You have to lop off just the right amount of top to do it. They go up just fast enough for you to get out off the way. Can really get your blood going when doing emergency tree work on a 'dark and stormy day.'

Pauline   Link to this

"...rise again and fasten..."
Thank you, Mark P! Once again and every time, eyewitness account beats speculation, mumbling about, and reluctance to accept the amazing.

Robert Gertz   Link to this

1661/2: England: We noble boys killed this no-account Tanner who told us before we killed him that he was a thief, though he also told us it was only his first theft. (which is why his rep back home is spotless) Er, what did he steal? Why all these valuable tanner's tools...

2005: USA: We have to pass this class action lawsuit legislation to stop all these nobody dying cancer plaintiffs from being able to sue our noble asbetos manufacturers who deliberately lied for a century to cover up the fatal dangers of their product.

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